The Glossary of Human Computer Interaction

21. Satisficing


Satisficing describes the situation where people settle with a solution to a problem that is "good enough".

According to Herbert Simon, people do not seek the best possible solutions to problems, but operate within what he has called bounded rationality. Herbert Simon, whose primary object of research was problem solving, coined the term 'to satisfice', which denotes the situation where people seek solutions or accept choices or judgments that are 'good enough' for their purposes, but could be optimised (Simon 1957 as cited in Kunda 1999). In the tradition of rationalistic decision-making, it was conventionally assumed that individuals seek the optimal result. Instead, as Simon argues, it is often rational to seek to satisfice in that the process of looking for better solutions/results expends resources. A better solution would thus have to justify the extra costs carried in finding it.

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